ADW Launcher EX, Best Android Launcher for Your Gadget
If you have read any of my previous articles, then you already know I have a version of ADD for cell phones. It may not be an official diagnosis, but let us just say I have to change my phone’s appearance at least once a week or more. If you are getting bored with the way your phone looks, and you do not want to root, then this next app review is for you. Read on.
Today’s review is not just for an app, but a launcher. I plan not just give you review, but an in-depth look at what exactly this launcher does. Launchers are still new to a large percentage of Android users, and some of you may be a little anxious to try one.
What Is a Launcher?
I am not going to bore you with technical terms because, frankly, I would not give a crap about the technical stuff, so why would I push it on you? A launcher is an app that you download changes the way your phone looks and operates visually. What does that mean? It means it does nothing to the change the way the hardware works.
Launchers meant to change things visually, so you can customize how your phone looks when it does something. The engine, chassis, wheels and interior remain unchanged, but visually, it is completely new.
ADW Launcher EX
When you first install the launcher, nothing has really changed. Press the home button, and your phone will ask you which launcher you want to run. Press the “Use by default” button and then press ADW Launcher EX.
At this point, you should see the default layout. There probably will not be much to look at. This is where you will begin playing with the layout. Do not feel overwhelmed, I will go over the main points of what you can customize next.
By selecting Presets, you can quickly change between styles. Play around with these to get a feel for how the launcher will change. You can even save your own presets to implement later.
In this menu, you will find most of the settings that effect how the launcher looks. Icons-In the Icons menu you can add special backgrounds to the icons, change the icon size, text size, text color, label color, and highlight color.
Main Dock-Here, you can change how many icons make up the main dock, what size those icons are, and how much tint the icons have.
In this menu, you can change the layout of your home screens. Adjust how many rows and columns of icons there are, change the indicator of how the home screens switch, change the position of the trash can, set the main orientation, show or hide the status bar, and show or hide the icon labels.
In the drawer settings, you can change the layout of the drawer. Change between vertical, horizontal, vertical 3D, horizontal paginated, and horizontal fling.
Hidden Dock bar
Enable or disable the hidden dock bar. This dock bar allows you to expand the number of apps you have at the ready by putting them in a hidden dock bar behind the main one.
The General Behavior menu changes all the “fun” stuff.
Animations and Effect
Here, you can adjust how your home screens change. Set your home screens to switch in an infinite loop, change the screen transitions (My favorite), set the scrolling speed, how much they bounce when changed, and turn certain animations on and off.
Gestures-Set your Home button to perform a certain task (Other than going to the home screen), set what happens when you swipe up or down on the home screen. These really come in handy if you want to access a specific app or action quickly. When I use it, I set the “swipe up” action to open my phone dialer, and the “swipe down” action to open my hidden dock bar.
System Preferences-Change the order of menu items in ADW, enable or disable notifications, and more advanced settings.
Here you can set specific themes. There are free and paid themes on the Android Market designed just for ADW. These themes can change whole sections of your phone such as themed icons, menu colors, and backgrounds. In the Themes Preferences menu, you can download more themes, set a whole theme, or just a certain part of the theme you want. Mix and match!
Backup and Restore
In the Backup and Restore menu, you can back up a certain theme. This comes in handy when you really like the way your theme or layout is set, and maybe you want to see what another theme looks like. Use this menu to back up your theme and come back to it later without having to set everything up again.
Home Screen Setup
Most of you already know how to move icons and add widgets, but there are a few additional tips to know that ADW packs along within the launcher.
From this menu, you can remove the icon, edit it, manage the app, or share it with someone else. If you wish to edit the icon, select Edit and a new menu will open.
Here, you can rename the icon or change the icon’s appearance. By downloading additional themes, you will have additional icon packs that you can use to assign a different icon to a specific app. Just touch the icon in the menu to change it. In this menu, you can also press the button (named Browser in this case) to change what the icon does. For example, if you downloaded a custom browser like Skyfire, Opera, or Dolphin Browser, you can press the button to reassign what app opens when you open your browser.
In the previous screenshots, you will notice that the current (And default) setup is the 3-Icon dock. You can customize which apps sit on that dock. Maybe you do not want your contacts and browser on the dock. No problem; Just long press the icon you do want on the dock, drag it to the position on the dock you want it, and then drop it (Let go). Drag and drop. Go figure. Someone was actually thinking of “ease of use” when designing this thing.
What I Like About This App
ADW Launcher EX is one of the best home screen launchers out there because of its ability to customize almost everything. You can change the appearance of just about anything you want very easily. You do not have to root your phone to make these changes either. Once you set ADW as your primary launcher, it does its thing in the background. It does not bother you with ads, freeze, or crash. The user interface is very simple to use and common tasks like moving or changing icons are common-sense procedures.
What Could Be Better
While themes are creating every day, it is often difficult to find many quality themes on the Android Market. Most of the sub-par themes on the market are free, and almost all of the high-quality themes cost $1-$5. This analogy is somewhat backwards too many apps on the market. Personally, I would rather pay up to $20 for the launcher and have access to all of the high-quality themes free, but that is just me.
While there is more than one launcher available on the Android Market, I believe that ADW is one of the best out there. Thanks to apps like ADW Launcher EX, your phone finally can feel like it should have right out of the box. The ability to downloaded and implemented immediately is nice, and it gives the user the capability to have a new-feeling phone every day. In a country where two-year contracts are the norm, giving your phone a fresh look as often as you like is a big help. (Source Ezine Articles)
Do you want to install Android ADW Launcher EX? Please go to https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.adwfreak.launcher and add on yout Android Phones.